Arizona Sexually Transmitted Infection Action Plan in the Works

The Arizona Department of Health Services is developing a Sexually Transmitted Infections Action Plan as part of something state government calls a "Goal Council Action".  I'm not 100% sure what a Goal Council exactly is, but an initial "STD Action Plan" was presented to and approved by the "Goal Council" last week.

The Plan includes numerous actionable interventions (below) - although there's no recommendation to decriminalize syringe service programs- which is a key evidence-based best practice to reducing the spread of some sexually transmitted infections. Below are the action items in the elements in the Plan. 

  • Promote policies that allow providers to prescribe treatment for partners.

  • Improve access to screening and treatment in rural Arizona by implementing standing orders for chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis.

  • Identify ways to encourage expectant mothers to access prenatal care and receive syphilis screening and promote healthy pregnancies.

  • Utilize perinatal caseworkers to better understand the barriers to accessing care and link women to prenatal care and other social services to prevent reinfection and promote healthy pregnancies.

  • Expand partnerships with correctional facilities, home visiting programs, and groups that work with current and recovering drug users to address root causes of STD transmission.

  • On-board additional laboratories to electronic laboratory reporting via HL7 messaging or spreadsheet reporting. Initiate the enhancement of ADHS IT infrastructure to accept electronic case reports (eCR) from providers.

  • Expand multi-site resistance screening in Maricopa County.

  • Develop a plan to respond to emerging STDs like LGV and Chancroid.

The agency will be scheduling follow-up meetings with stakeholder subcommittees to discuss the action plan in more detail and establish next steps for implementation.